Review: Custom Love by Chantal Fernando
Caught between two different familial relationship, Nadia is balancing on a very thin line. A childhood friend, Damon, is jailed for killing a friend from her new set of friends. When said Damon's mother comes begging for Nadia to help look for answers, Nadia is torn. Damon's mother was her mother figure for years. Her new friends have been supporting her through the more current adult years. What does one do?
This is the third book in the series and can be read as a standalone.
Nadia is a strong female who is used to doing everything by herself. With both her parents deceased and as an only child, she doesn't really have blood family. What she's created over the years, is connections with friends who are now her chosen family - family of her heart. So when she needs to help an old friend that is in direct conflict with her new family, this tension becomes heartbreaking.
The conflict Nadia experiences pulls me into the story immediately. This is a tough situation and Ms. Fernando does an excellent job of showing Nadia's turmoil. Nadia is a person with integrity and she also likes to finish what she starts. So when she re-opens Damon's case, the facts don't add up. In addition, she's pissed off a few in the motorcycle club which is never good.
One of the members, Trade is the one who is most hurt with Nadia's investigation. Because her investigation involves his past that he is still not fully over. To complicate matters, their friendship starts to develop into a romance that neither expected. This situation just got messier. I liked how there are no good answers in this story. People act out and feelings are hurt. Seeing how people come back and apologize or resolve their conflict is a pleasure. So often making up from fights "fade to black" where magically things are better. Ms. Fernando shows how in real life, it isn't perfect and people make mistakes.
The conclusion of this story is a bit rushed for me. It felt a bit unfinished or perhaps half baked. The villain in the story seemed a bit too pat. Still, it did make for a good resolution. I am mixed about whether I liked the several leaps forward in time for the end. I think it played out well but it felt like I was reading a post script with PS, then PPS, then PPPS. I can't think of a way Ms. Fernando could have done it any different. I do like the added details because it feels like I see my happily ever after and what happens after. This erotica romance is recommended to readers who like strong female leads who struggles between putting her job or her man first.